6.0 UV Tools
When enter the UV room you will see several sections:
- 1. Modes, commands and operations with selected items (on the left by default).
- 2. Top bar with different selectors (on the top).
- 3. UV preview window (on the screen; it can be docked anywhere you like).
If your mesh doesn't have a UV set yet the preview window will appear empty and the model will appear colored with only one color (because it has only one UV island for now).
You can simply begin with Add clusters or Mark seams mode.
- Note: if the mesh is symmetrical it is possible to use symmetry along X, Y or Z-axis.
In Mark seams mode click with LMB on the edges that you want to make seams. You can select edge loops with SHIFT+LMB or click on Edge loops button and select edge loops with LMB only. Use CTRL+LMB to deselect an edge or SHIFT+CTRL+LMB to deselect an edge loop.
- Note: if you want to mark only the part of an edge loop mark the first and the last edge of that part and then click on any edge between with SHIFT+LMB and that will mark the part of the edge loop.
While marking seams new UV islands will appear. Move the cursor on the UV island on the mesh and you will see it in the UV preview window. With each new seam the islands appearance will be updated immediately.
Mark seams mode works with symmetry to.
In Commands list you will find a set of commands.
- Clear clusters and Clear seams will clear all clusters or seams if there are such.
- Auto seams will cut the mesh automatically. It's better not to make UV set in such way because 3D-Coat marks seams arbitrarily. Do it manually to get what you want!
- Pack UV command packs all UV islands onto the texture trying to scale and place them in such a way to make them fill as much space as possible. Pack UV command does nothing if the Unwrap command has not been applied at least once. When this operation is complete, you can then edit the islands on the UV map. At this point you can perform many essential functions which require a UV map.
- Note: if you scale any UV island and then press the Pack UV command it will pack all islands with relative scale.
- Upd. Islands. This command updates UV islands in the preview window after any adjustments that you've performed (marking seam, deleting seam, etc.)
- Apply UV-set. This applies the current UV set to the mesh.
- Note: if you already have a texture painted and you have edited the UV map and applied it the texture map can be applied to a new UV map without additional editing.
- Save and Load commands save and load seam and cluster information so you may use it later.
- Note: these commands DO NOT export or import a UV map! For import/export use Textures->Import UV or Export UV.
In block Selected you will find a set of commands that are related to the selections made in the UV preview window. After applying the Unwrap command you may want to edit UV island in the UV preview window.
On the top panel you can choose selection types: Vertices, Edges, Faces, Islands, Brush and Tweak. Select vertices, edges or faces (depend on what type have you chosen) with LMB. If you hold LMB and drag the mouse you can select several vertices/edges/faces. Use SHIFT to add an item to selection, use CTRL to subtract an item from selection.
Depending on selection type operations in the Selected block may change. For Vertices it is: Clear, Invert, Rotate CW, Rotate CCW, Flip U, Flip V, Relax.
- - Clear clears the selection.
- - Invert inverts the selection.
- - Rotate CW rotates the selection clockwise (it doesn't do anything if only one vertex is selected).
- - Rotate CCW rotates the selection counter-clockwise (it doesn't do anything if only one vertex is selected).
- - Flip U flips the U-coordinate of the selection.
- - Flip V flips the V-coordinate of the selection.
- - Relax slightly relaxes the selection from stretching or pinching.
In Edges selection mode there are a few new tools. They are: To line, Equidistant, Horizontal, Vertical.
- Note: you can select an edge loop by double-clicking on an edge or you may simply use an Edgeloop command in the Selected block. With Edgering command you can select edge rings.
- To line command places all selected edges along the line.
- Equidistant command places all selected edges along the line and sets equal distance between points.
- Horizontal command puts all selected edges horizontally.
- Vertical command puts all selected edges vertically.
- Set seams command marks selected edges as seams.
- Del seams command unmarks selected seams if there are such.
Faces selection mode differs from Vertices selection mode in four additional commands: Hide, Inv. Hidden, Unhide, Unhide all. Use this commands to show only selected faces in the viewport.
All other commands work the same as for Vertices.
Islands selection mode allows you to operate with separate UV islands. You can translate, rotate and scale (vertically, horizontally and proportionally) an island with the help of Manipulator.
- Note that you need to activate the manipulator on the top bar. Check the Select and Manipulate check-boxes.
- Advise: Keep the Select check-box always checked unless you don't want to select anything.
(The manipulator works the same way for vertices, edges and faces!)
You are to press Upd. Islands command to update the UV preview window after operations with UV islands.
Another important commands are: To ABF, To LSCM and To Planar.
ABF (Angle Based Flattening) and LSCM (Least Squares Conformal Maps) are algorithms for mesh unwrapping. ABF is a newer one and is used for organic models. Meshes in 3D-Coat are unwrapping with LSCM by default. You can select any island and choose To ABF command and you will notice that it unwraps slightly different than LSCM.
To Planar projects across the arbitrary axis, so you may use it if you need.
Brushes mode. In this mode you operate with the brush which size and be changed by holding RMB pressed and moving the mouse aside. With the LMB click and drag you can manipulate the mesh under brush. Use SHIFT+LMB to smooth the mesh. Use CTRL+LMB to pinch the area under the brush. Use SHIFT+CTRL+LMB to expand the area under the brush.
The last mode is Tweak. It allows to drag vertices, edges or faces around in a very easy way. Simply move the cursor over a vertex/edge/face until it becomes highlighted and then drag it with LMB.
The mesh can be displayed in one of three ways: with no checker, with simple checker, with complex checker.
It is very useful as it shows the distortions of the texture in different areas of the mesh.
Another drop-down list on the left of the top bar is Choose a UV-set list. If the mesh has a multiple UVs you can switch them in that drop-down list.
Overlapping UVs. You can have overlapping UVs within 3D-Coat with no problems occurring. As seen on the image.
Watch a descriptive video on UV-Tools